Tuesday, December 29, 2009

International, Poverty, Justice, and Health Student Elective: Medical Schools Still Care

Two weeks for Christmas Break and we will be back to school. I thought I would take an opportunity to explain what the International, Poverty, Justice, and Health Elective (IPJH) is all about. The elective is a way for students at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine to continue pursuing justice among the impoverished and medically underserved populations domestically and abroad. Our main focus throughout the year is to be involved with the people in and around Cincinnati. There a four sub groups within the elective for homelessness, women's health, Latino population, and childhood obesity. I currently serve on the homelessness committee.

In the homeless committee we sort of contain the category of "other" and we take care of anything that does not quite fit into the mold of the other three. Currently, we have random activities throughout the year, and because we are relatively new to the UC campus we are trying gain a presence by becoming involved in a variety of different areas. There are many opportunities to serve the homeless and there is a lot of space  for new ideas.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Block 3 Closes: No Time, No Time, No Time, I've got No TIme

Block 3 ends in a few hours. So before I do some last minute cramming and my pretest rituals of singing songs about the end of the world, I though I would post this link that was given to me by a friend of mine.

The catch line is: "We have mapped all the genes for cancer."
In reality, all the possible mutations have been mapped for the two most common forms of cancer. This is no small achievement and has taken literally thousands of hours and years of work to accomplish.

This is not a cure, and currently is only really good for diagnostic testing of patients and matching each patients condition to the best form of chemotherapy.

Scientists crack 'entire genetic code' of cancer

Thanks Kyle for the link.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Generic 'What I did after my bachelors' Essay

Many medical schools will ask a question such as if you are not completing you undergraduate training this year or enrolled as a full time student briefly describe what you have been doing.

Although this a sort of list the things you have been doing type of essay it is important not to overlook. What most medical schools are looking for is continuation of a medical education or movement to make yourself a more desirable applicant for the coming application cycle. They do not want you to say I worked in a bank and partied with my friends. They want to see medical experience, initiative, research, or graduate school. Here is a sample of what I wrote for them:

I completed my undergraduate work in August 2006. From August to December of 2006 I participated in an Intercultural Studies Internship to Southeast Asia. Upon returning to the USA I began work as a laboratory and surgical assistant at the University of Minnesota Lions Eye Bank from February 2007 to July 2008. After working as a lab assistant I completed a masters in cell and molecular biology at Tulane University with research in cellular neuroscience as it relates to brain health and exercise in ovariectomized rats.

Now is not the time to show them your creativity and/or writing ability. Make brief and the to the point. Give approximate dates and above all be honest. If you did research for one month do not say I did research for two or three months. Here simplicity and easy to understand is key, giving them an accurate picture of what you have accomplished; the details of which may come out in other essays or a sent in Curriculum Vitae.